I had to make a quick run to the store for milk and juice before everyone woke up. I ended up buying a cartload, of course. “Be careful.”, the cashier said as I walked out the sliding doors to the parking lot.
“Strange,” I thought. Usually they say, “Have a nice day.” or something. Hmmm..
I pushed the cart out into the lot and didn’t get very far before the front left tire jammed into a rut and — CRASH! Everything toppled out onto the pavement as the cart flipped over and crashed down next to it all. It couldn’t have been much worse.
“Figures!”, I thought, “If that cashier hadn’t said, ‘Be careful’, none of this would have happened!”
A friendly, young bagger strolled nonchalantly out to help me, as if this wasn’t the first time a customer had wiped out in front of the store.
In fact, he said as much. He’d tripped there lots, he said.
“Well”, I asked, tossing my goods back into the bags, “are they going to fix it?!
“They patch it all the time, ” he told me.
Later, when I was back at the store, I saw another hapless customer tripping over that same rut.
Made me think of my own ruts. Holes in my character, that is, that others trip over again and again, like anger, or selfishness, or pride.
I try to patch them over with a quick apology or a promise to do better next time, but the holes remain. Maybe it’s because I’m too afraid to endure the pain and mess of jack-hammering to the root of the problem.
Fortunately, when I stumbled over the store’s rut, my groceries were o.k., nothing hurt, eggs intact, cookies not crushed.
But next time, when someone stumbles over my ruts, my bad attitudes they might not be so lucky. Who’s feelings might get damaged? Whose ego might I crush? And can those things be replaced as easily as store-bought cookies?
Oh, Father, thank you for loving me and for putting up all my ruts in the road.
I says in the Bible, “Make level paths for your feet so that the lame may not be disabled.” (Hebrews 12:12)
It takes a some effort to smooth out the road and fill in all the holes. And it might take some time. So, help me not to be lazy.
Especially if I’ve allowed my soul to decay enough that I have to pull out the jackhammer of fasting. (click on “fasting” for a how-to guide and encouragement from The Rock Church in San Diego, CA)
That is one of the hardest spiritual disciplines for me, Father, but you promise great results:
“No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness…” (Hebrews 12:11)
So, have your way with me, Father. I don’t want to make others stumble or fall. In Jesus’ name, amen.”
Do you know the One who can can fill your potholes?
Click on the pic below to be introduced.